The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Nasir Sani-Gwarzo, mni,NPOM stated that, it was a proud moment for Nigeria and Africa, a unique moment and an opportunity to thank the world for supporting Nigeria to achieve the feat of having the First Female Nigerian and First African to head World Trade Organisation (WTO).
Dr. Gwarzo stated this while receiving the newly appointed Director General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who arrived Nigeria on a five-day thank you visit to President Muhammadu Buhari and Nigerians.
He further said “We have received a lot of support from many countries, we appreciate them as her visit is specifically to start from home to say thank you to the President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR and Nigerians, who supported her from home and in the Diaspora”.
“Tremendous support has gone into the process and we are grateful that she emerged, after a very thoroughly contested process as the DG. It is a proud moment for Nigeria, for herself and also for women in the World,” Dr. Gwarzo added.
Dr. Gwarzo also commended the Hon. Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Richard Adeniyi Adebayo, Hon. Minister of State, Amb. Maryam Yelwaji Katagum and the entire Staff of the Ministry for their unalloyed support to emergence of Dr. Ngozi Okonja-Iweala as DG of WTO.
In a brief interview with journalists, the newly appointed Director General, World Trade Organisation, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said her visit was to see how to better leverage the WTO and AfCFTA to assist Nigeria and Nigerian Entrepreneurs to improve the economy as she expressed confident that Nigeria could use the AfCFTA to boost trade and investment.
Dr. Ngozi said: “I am not going to give you all the points for the visit today; I know you want them. But what we are trying to do indeed is how to boost Nigeria’s share of trade in Africa. We hope to be able to use the African Continental Free Trade Area to improve our trade, and of course, to do that we have to improve our investment”.
She further revealed that “We have to add value to some of our products. This Continental Free Trade Area is a unique opportunity for us to be able to engage commercially with other African nations and that will boost our exports. Then, when we boost exports, we will create more jobs.
“We are also going to talk about digital economy and how our young people are accessing the Internet for e-commerce.
Those are some of the issues that we can do to support more of that and generate more activities” Dr. Ngozi added.
“I will meet with His Excellency, the President; the Chief of Staff; the Ministers of Industry, Trade and Investment; the Minister of Foreign Affairs; Minister of Finance; Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Organised Private Sector as well as Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and Women Entrepreneurs.
“I will like to meet with the Women, and the whole objective is to see how the WTO can better assist Nigerian and Nigerian entrepreneurs with respect to improving the economy of the County.
The visit will to enable her appreciate the support President Muhammadu Buhari and Ministry of Industry, Trade and investment gave her toward’s her emergence as DG WTO.
Okonjo-Iweala was accompanied on the visit from Geneva, Switzerland by some Ambassadors from Nigeria, including those from the Republic of Barbados and Cameroon.
It would be recalled that Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Ahmed Lawan Danbazau
For: Deputy Director/Head, Press and Public Relations
14th March, 2021.